White Tiger returns to bite ‘Shining India’

NEW DELHI, July 4, 2011 (AFP) – Feuds over property and deadly clashes over land are as much a part of India’s economic rise as call centres and the foreign acquisitions made by its leading companies. “I wonder if this amoral energy (which Shah possesses) is what it takes to start a new nation,” Adiga said. “I also wonder if it will drive us into chaos.” The background of millions of personal struggles between the forces of economic development and those clinging to their homes has been taken up by one of India’s brightest young literary talents in his second novel.

Aravind Adiga, whose debut novel “The White Tiger” won the Booker prize in 2008, sets his new book in a scruffy tower block in his adopted home of Mumbai, a swirling mass of 16 million people, slums, apartment buildings and Bollywood.

The plot revolves around the battle between a hard-nosed property magnate, who wants to knock down the cooperative housing tower to build a new luxury development, and a minority of older residents who resist his lucrative offer.

“It poses some very fundamental questions about democracy in India. I tend to side with the person who refuses to take the money, but he’s frustrating the aims of th